Aidan & Emmie....It is so sweet to watch them together. Aidan is such a good big brother. When Emily was born, we were worried that Aidan would be jealous or act out. We haven't had any of that. All we see is the love he has for her. When Emily was in my belly, we talked about her alot, read big brother books to Aidan, let him help get Emily's room ready, & took him to the ultrasounds at the doctor's office. His preschool did a wonderful job preparing for the arrival of his baby sister. They read books, played with baby dolls, & talked about why babies cry. I am so grateful for the help of Aidan's teachers. They made a huge difference.
I want to share a few stories that might help capture how Aidan feels about his little sister. As soon as he wakes up in the morning, Aidan comes tip toeing into our room, looking for his sister. (She sleeps in the cradle in our bedroom.) He often says, "Is Emily awake or asleep?" Then he peeks in on her. If she is awake, he talks to her & puts her mobile on for her. When I tell him to, he pulls the velcro tabs on Emmie's "pink thing". (her swaddler). He helps me take it off.
When Aidan gets off the bus in the afternoon, the first thing he asks is, "Where is Emmie? How is she doing?" He comes right into the house to see her. Lately, he goes right up to her says, "Mommy, tell her big brother is home!" The sweetest....
Emmie's room is girlie & pink...shabby chic with flowers & butterflies. I do my best to keep the room neat & picked up. I want it to look good. It makes me feel good. Every day, several times a day, I find several of Aidan's cars or trucks in Emily's room...under the crib, under the stool, in the crib. Aidan leaves his mark everywhere.
Every time I change Emily's diaper on the changing table, Aidan follows a routine. I have a small step stool in Emily's room that has a vase of flowers on it. I think they are peonies. Aidan takes the vase off the stool & says, "Mommy, let's plant the marigolds in the garden!" I think he calls them marigolds because of the marigolds in Ruby's garden on the cartoon "Max & Ruby". Then he puts the vase on the dresser. Next, he moves the stool over to the changing table, steps on it & watches me change Emmie's diaper. He touches her belly & sometimes he says her belly is talking. Aidan also likes to race his cars up & down the changing table. That stool is always left by the changing table. It gets on my nerves & I have put the stupid thing back in it's place over a million times. It always winds up back near the changing table. I have finally given up on taking Aidan's toys out of Emily's room & putting the stool back where it belongs. It doesn't matter if the room is not picture perfect. It matters that Emily's brother wants to be with her all the time.
When Emily is sleeping or resting in her crib, Aidan likes to take the stool over to the crib. He likes to peek in on his sister & talk to her. He also likes to put her crib toys on for her. One evening, Emmie was in her crib & it was Aidan's bedtime. He wanted to sleep in Emmie's room. He got his pillow & a blanket & we let him campout on her floor, next to the crib. This happened a few times. Big brother wanting to be near his little sister...priceless!!
Several nights during the week, we like to go for a walk around the neighborhood. Aidan always asks, "Can Emmie come too?" Eric takes Aidan swimming at the recreation center & Aidan always asks if his sister can come. He never wants to be without her. When Emmie smiles, Aidan says, "She's smiling. Look at her!" When we tuck Aidan in bed at night, he usually wants his sister to come into his bed for a little while. When Emmie cries Aidan says, "It's ok honey. She wants her bottle. She wants her binky." He often mimmicks the nicknames we call her. He thinks his sister's name is "Emily Gracie Girl!" :)
Aidan is a special & unique little boy. He is funny, smart, cute, curious & kind. He likes to splash in puddles with Daddy after a rain storm. He is obsessed with smoke detectors. He loves cars, trucks, & country music. His favorite movie these days is "Bolt". He gets mad if I do the laundry without him.
The love Aidan has for his sister is amazing to witness. Aidan has no idea that Emily has Down syndrome. When the time is right, down the road, we will tell him. To Aidan, Emmie is his little sister & it's as simple as that. She is just like everyone else. When I see Aidan with Emily he reminds me of that. Part of me feels bad for Aidan because he will never have a "normal"....I hate that word....a "typical"....that's the appropriate special education term....sister. I guess I feel like he might be missing out on something. There's the mother's guilt again!! Maybe it's everyone else that is missing out though. Aidan is a lucky boy to have Emily as his sister. My hope is that Aidan's life & ours will be richer & fuller because of Emily. I can see it already. This little girl has done something amazing to this little boy. Aidan & Emily are bonded for life. As a mother, I couldn't ask for anything more. I love my girl! I love my boy!! Life is good....